Meow: Another Double Dose of Schadenfreude From Carlos Ghosn

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Shortly after his high-flying escape from Japanese semi-captivity in late 2018, former Renault-Nissan Alliance boss Carlos Ghosn got catty, marveling at what became of those two automakers after they dropped him from the phone directory.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic sinking profits and sales across the globe, Ghosn is pretty sure he knows what’s really to blame for Nissan’s current misfortunes.

As you read last week, Nissan expects its global production to take a 30 percent haircut in 2020. In May, the company released a near-term plan to shrink its global footprint and model range in the interest of stabilizing the overstretched company’s balance sheet.

In February, Nissan recorded its first quarterly loss in more than a decade.

Going forward, the goal of still fresh-faced CEO Makoto Uchida is modest market share and operating margins, with a primary focus on North America, Japan, and China — quite a U-turn from the heady, expansionist Ghosn era.

Still claiming to be the victim of a corporate coup, Ghosn spoke out from his Lebanon refuge, telling France’s Le Parisien newspaper, “There is a market confidence problem in the alliance.”

“Personally, I find the results of Nissan and Renault pathetic. The two companies are looking inwards. There is no longer any real mix of management between Renault and Nissan, but a distrustful distance, “ he said during the interview, per Reuters.

Ghosn, who sought closer integration between the two companies (much to the chagrin of many of their executives) contrasted the share price performance of several big-name automakers with that of Nissan and Renault, which have seen their stock decline anywhere between 55 and 70 percent since his arrest.

On the legal front, Japan desperately wants Ghosn back in its grips, but Lebanon does not have an extradition treaty with that country. France would also like to have a word with him. Ghosn said he aims to clear his name while cooperating with authorities, but a meeting with French prosecutors didn’t go off as requested on July 13th.

“There is a technical obstacle. My passport is in the hands of the attorney general in Lebanon, because Japan has issued an international arrest warrant for me,” Ghosn said. “I also want to be sure that my security is assured and that I am guaranteed freedom of movement.”

[Image: Frederic Legrand/Shutterstock]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Jul 21, 2020

    We have a 2013 Rogue and it was given to us 3 years ago by a family member so all we had to pay was title and license fees. It was still too steep a price to pay for the piece of crap.

  • Schurkey Schurkey on Jul 21, 2020

    When I heard that Nissan and Renault were in bed together, I knew Nissan was gonna get screwed. You'd have thought they'd have learned from American Motors. There's a success story for the ages. Apparently, Nissan executives are every bit as dumb as Ford and Chrysler execs.

  • SaulTigh When I was young in the late 80's one of my friends had the "cool dad." You know the guy, first to buy a Betamax and a C-band satellite dish. Couple of stand up arcade games in the den. Bought my friend an Atari 2600 as soon as they came out. He had two of these crap heaps. One that only ran half the time and one for parts in the yard. My middle school brain though he was the most awesome dad ever, buying us pizza and letting us watch R rated movies recorded on free HBO weekend. At the time I though he was much better than my boring father.Now with adult hindsight, I now know he was "dad who should have taken better care of his family" and not had so many toys.
  • Dave Has to be Indy 500. Many more leaders and front passes than NASCAR, and Monaco is unwatchable with the inability to pass on that circuit.
  • Jeff How did the discussion get from an article about a 56 billion dollar pay package for Elon Musk to a proposal to charge a per mile tax on EVs in California or paying increase registration on vehicles to make up for lost gas tax revenue? I thought such a discussion would better fit Matt's Gas Wars series.
  • Master Baiter Both people who bought ID.4s will be interested in this post.
  • Urlik Not a single memorable thing happened in the big three races this weekend IMHO.